BACKGROUND: Defects in the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP-1) and p-glycoprotein (Pgp) clearance of amyloid beta (Aβ) from brain are thought to contribute to Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have recently shown that induction of systemic inflammation by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) results in impaired efflux of Aβ from the brain. The same treatment also impairs Pgp function. Here, our aim is to determine which physiological routes of Aβ clearance are affected following systemic inflammation, including those relying on LRP-1 and Pgp function at the blood-brain barrier.

METHODS: CD-1 mice aged between 6 and 8 weeks were treated with 3 intraperitoneal injections of 3 mg/kg LPS at 0, 6, and 24 hours and studied at 28 hours. 125I-Aβ1-42 or 125I-alpha-2-macroglobulin injected into the lateral ventricle of the brain (intracerebroventricular (ICV)) or into the jugular vein (intravenous (IV)) was used to quantify LRP-1-dependent partitioning between the brain vasculature and parenchyma and peripheral clearance, respectively. Disappearance of ICV-injected 14 C-inulin from brain was measured to quantify bulk flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Brain microvascular protein expression of LRP-1 and Pgp was measured by immunoblotting. Endothelial cell localization of LRP-1 was measured by immunofluorescence microscopy. Oxidative modifications to LRP-1 at the brain microvasculature were measured by immunoprecipitation of LRP-1 followed by immunoblotting for 4-hydroxynonenal and 3-nitrotyrosine.

RESULTS: We found that LPS: caused an LRP-1-dependent redistribution of ICV-injected Aβ from brain parenchyma to brain vasculature and decreased entry into blood; impaired peripheral clearance of IV-injected Aβ; inhibited reabsorption of CSF; did not significantly alter brain microvascular protein levels of LRP-1 or Pgp, or oxidative modifications to LRP-1; and downregulated LRP-1 protein levels and caused LRP-1 mislocalization in cultured brain endothelial cells.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that LRP-1 undergoes complex functional regulation following systemic inflammation which may depend on cell type, subcellular location, and post-translational modifications. Our findings that systemic inflammation causes deficits in both Aβ transport and bulk flow like those observed in AD indicate that inflammation could induce and promote the disease.

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Published in Journal of Neuroinflammation, v. 9, 150.

© 2012 Erickson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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